Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse…

I thought Labour was bad, but the Tories are bidding to outdo them for a bad news day with this brain dump [that’s certainly  one word for it – Ed] from Boris Johnson… Whatever next? (Well, to update, this feature piece from The Sun). Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and … Read more

Jewish Labour MP walks out after taking offense at the launch of party’s anti semitic report..

Have we landed in a parallel universe? A bit like a football team that’s lost its form Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party goes from one self-undoing to another. This morning at the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s report into anti-semitism, this happened: Ruth Smeeth is a Jewish Labour MP. The speaker is an annoyed Corbynista (who said afterwards he didn’t know Smeeth was Jewish), accusing her of working with a right-wing journalist, which apparently had nothing to do with the subject of … Read more

On parliamentary sovereignty and post-Brexit Britain

The latest phase in the stages of grieving for Remainers is the idea that parliament can save the UK’s membership of the EU. How would that play in blue-collar England? As 78% of the men on the Clapham omnibus, in the London Borough of Lambeth, voted Remain, we’ll need someone different to act as our ‘typical’ Leave voter. What about the man on the wonderfully-named Jump Circular bus, which really exists in the Borough of Barnsley (68% Leave)? The man … Read more

21 flavours of ice-cream. The murder of Constable John Larmour…

I came across this video browsing Brian John Spencers Youtube channel. Here is some background to the story from the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph: Constable John Larmour was off-duty and helping out at his brother’s ice-cream parlour in south Belfast when he was shot dead by the IRA in 1988. Two men entered, unmasked, ordered ice cream, and then one of them shot him as he turned his back on him. Constable Larmour’s son Gavin, who was just 13 … Read more

#SluggerReport: The high farce of English politics…

It’s hard to find a cart in Westminster where wheels are not coming off. Yesterday was occupied with the drama of the Labour party trying desparately to get their benighted leader to ‘do the right thing’ and step down, and the beginnings of mass resistance to that Parliamentary heave. And just as that was coming to a head, out comes the Gove letter.  On top of that there is now open speculation that Article 50 may need an act of … Read more

Gove stands for Tory leadership, but will Boris stand down?

Oh, where’s all the Northern Irish news gone? This is kinda funny: a Tory continuation of the end of the pier show Labour’s been running for the general entertainment of the great British public…  It’s that email that Mrs Gove sent to Mr Gove. Very important that we focus on the individual obstacles and thoroughly overcome them before moving to the next. I really think Michael needs to have a Henry or a Beth with him for this morning’s crucial … Read more

Way forward, redux.

Put Chilcott in charge of letter triggering Article 50. Then go to pub. Pádraig Belton30 year old journalist thing. Buys loo roll on eBay. http://scribd.com/padraigbelton

Boris’ high profile role in Brexit referendum, a handicap for the race…?

Times / YouGov graphic of who, hypothetically, Tory members wd vote for in 1st round and what happens in runoffs pic.twitter.com/4pkB04Y0LE — Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) June 29, 2016   Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

French President Francois Hollande :”The negotiations will be conducted with the United Kingdom, not with a part of the United Kingdom”

With the UK Parliament sovereign, and Sinn Féin’s calls for a border poll dismissed as an unwelcome distraction, quite where the “very special place” Martin McGuinness thinks Northern Ireland is in isn’t entirely clear.  Nor whom he thinks he can press that “case” with in his attempt to ignore the UK-wide referendum result.  He should remember, however, that neither he nor his party, alone, speak for the Northern Ireland Executive. He should also pay very close attention to the responses the Scottish First Minister is … Read more

After Brexit: the options

As time went on, speculation reached fever pitch. The internet was full of crazy theories about developments that would overturn everything we knew, seemingly convincing timelines of events that would soon unfold, and ingenious analyses proving that things were either nowhere near as bad as they seemed, or much worse than anyone imagined. I am of course talking about Game of Thrones. And in the end (no spoilers, I promise!) the vast majority of these excitable scribblings fell away, shown … Read more

‘We need to encourage young people that this is a place they can build their future’: Report on ‘Let Them Speak’

Back in February, 90 Sixth Form Pupils from 25 schools across Belfast gathered at Ulster University to discuss the city’s future. The event was part of the 4 Corners Festival, and was featured on Slugger at the time. The 4 Corners Festival have now produced a booklet that collates some of the students’ comments, grouped around the thematic areas of education, diversity, our political system, transport, regeneration and investment, health care, and hopes for the future. The pupils generated those … Read more

Five quick Brexit observations

1. I’m increasingly willing to see the split verdict as wise: offered stay in EU as-it-is versus get out utterly, the GB public says: make another option. 2. Overheard yesterday in Dublin: ‘So the English are knocked out of Europe twice in one week. Once by Iceland, once by people who shop there.’ 3. #CelticPride: This was found pinned to the door of the Welsh Polish Association in Llanelli, South Wales yesterday morning. 4. Overheard: ‘I’ve just realised I’ve never seen a news … Read more

UK Labour in turmoil: “if I had lost the confidence of 80% of colleagues I would resign…”

Labour MPs vote no confidence in Corbyn 172 to 40. The decision is non-binding, in the sense that according to the rules there are no consequences.  At least that’s the way Mr Corbyn is playing it. And in direct consequence of that, the UK Labour Party is having a major meltdown. In fact, the no-confidence motion was much less shocking than the fact that 27 members of his own Shadow Cabinet have resigned. There’s an oddly fallacious impression abroad that this … Read more

“It is for the sake of accountability that winners take all in our system….”

Great piece from Janan Ganesh today which is worth reading into the Slugger record.. The British people have instructed their rulers to leave the EU. The execution of their will is the work of years and soul-sapping detail. It cannot be done by a prime minister who believes the instruction was foolish in the first place. It is awkward enough that the technical process of extrication will be managed by reluctant, deflated civil servants. As a point of democratic principle, … Read more

There will be silver clouds, best to go and look for them now…

So listen, before we all get too carried away with Brian’s impersonation of Private Frazer’s Wur Doomed, let me get a Don’t Panic word in before the end of the day… On Evening Extra yesterday… The chief executive of Northern Ireland’s inward investment agency has told the BBC he is “excited” by some of the opportunities presented by Brexit. Alastair Hamilton said it would release his agency, Invest NI, from the state aid “challenges” of EU membership. A tightening of … Read more

Uniting to mitigate the effects of Brexit is better politics than talk of break up in these islands.

In the absence of any clarity about the terms for Brexit, it’s no surprise that some Remain supporters are dreaming about  reversing the result and nationalist politicians are weighing up the chances of the break-up of  the UK.  They may have to decide soon  how realistic are their ambitions for constitutional change if a snap Westminster election is sprung soon. The SNP are the only major party to have anything like a stable negotiating position at the moment. It  looks … Read more

The Demise of the Nickname

A bright morning always carries with it a sense of optimism in which to approach the new day- and not just in June when, for us teachers, the summer holidays are but a few sleeps away. My twenty minute drive to work most mornings signs off with me turning off the Oldpark Road and onto Ardoyne Avenue, where I often spot one of my past pupils making his way to his post-primary school the shy side of eight o’clock. It … Read more

The UK’s act of political and economic suicide means the future for Northern Ireland is incredibly bleak…

Wow, what a week in politics. Before the vote I was getting fed up hearing about Brexit. I went to bed on Thursday night safe in the view that no one would be crazy enough to vote to leave the EU. My politics are pragmatic, I detest ideologies. As someone who has been self-employed my whole life I can see the benefit of access to a free market of one-third of the world’s wealth. As our American friends would say, ‘it’s … Read more